How to Be a Maker!

Introduction: How to Be a Maker!

Whether you want to be a carpenter, metal worker or any other type of maker, you have to start somewhere. As a beginning maker myself, I want to share with you what I have learned so far. Much of the advice that has been given to me is from the brilliant resource tested (still untitled) ( Still untitled is a regular podcast featuring mythbusters host Adam Savage. His fountain of knowledge is extremely beneficial and I hope that you find it as captivating as I do.

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Step 1: Having the Right Tools for the Job...

Without the right tools, making can be a down right pain in the butt. How on earth are you meant to cut a 2 by 4 with a hammer?! In this step, I will give you a basic list of tools for getting started making many of which are recommended by Adam.

Basic tools:

Big Phillips Screwdriver

Small Phillips Screwdriver

Big Slotted Screwdriver

Small Slotted Screwdriver


Needle-Nose Pliers

Jewellers Screwdrivers

Claw Hammer ( 2 would be best)

Rubber Mallet

Wire Cutters

Soldering Iron

Corded Hand Drill with Hand-Adjustable Chuck (Must have hammer setting)

25-Foot Extension Cord

Set of Drill Bits (aka a Drill Index)




Tape Measure


Callipers (digitals good but not essential)

Pop riveter

Xacto Knife

Single Edge Razor Blade

Nail Files

Adustable Crescent Wrenches

Jeweler's Tweezers

Plier Tip Tweezers

Eyebrow Tweezers

Allen Wrenches

Scissors for Everything Else

Multimeter ( Must have Continuity Tester)

Clamps(C ones are good)

Electrical Tape

Duct Tape

Masking Tape

Double stick Tape

Elmer's White Glue

Contact Cement e.g. Barge glue, super 77/74

Cyanoacrylate aka superglue/crazy glue


Sewing Kit (can be as basic as those hotel ones)

Safety Glasses

Bench Vise

Drum Sanding Kit

Scissors For Cloth (or die)

Cyanoacrylate Accelerator (or baking soda)

Dust Masks

Sharpies(different colours ) and basic stationery.



Wed and dry sand paper (different grits)

A suitable work surface (if you only have a kitchen table buy a cutting mat)

Tool Storage

Good Lighting

Warmth (or thick clothes)

None Essentials:

Glue gun

Hair Dryer

Uni Bit



Socket Set

Forstner Bit


Copping Saw


Circular Saw

I cannot stress enough how important having a suitable work space is and how important the right tool is! Without both of these, you are pretty much stuck!

Step 2: Put Your Tools Back!!!!!

This step is really as simple as the title suggests! PUT THEM BACK

Step 3: Make Something!

Without making, you simply will never become a maker! You don't need MDF or acrylic; you can make using cardboard!!! Just get making!!

In all seriousness though, wood is a great material and you obviously don't want to be using cardboard day in day out. I have found that builders yards are more than happy to supply you with off cuts for free, all you need to do is ask nicely!

Step 4: Use New Sandpaper!

Do NOT try and sand with worn out sandpaper; you'll get nowhere! When you paper is worn out, just get another piece!!!!It will save allot of otherwise wasted time!


Don't quit a project just because you fail the first time, eventually you will get it right and when you do it will be rewarding!!

Keep calm and keep making


The cardinal sin of making is not sharing knowledge with others so just get sharing! I would be no where without advice!!!

Step 7: Don't Buy the Tiny C Clamps!

Clamping is a key part of making. It's pretty much vital for cutting and sometimes even drilling and soldering.So, when you reach for your C clamps and only find one big enough to clamp your work, its a pain!

The moral of this step is:Do NOT buy small C clamps!!!

Step 8: Cheap Tools Can Be Great!

Don't get me wrong, I would love all my tools to be Dewalt but on my budget , that's not possible! The answer... cheap mid range tools. With hand tools, cheap is good for a beginner maker; I always like to buy the second lowest priced tool ( hand tools only) as the difference between them and the cheapest is massive. However, when it comes to electrical tools like drills and jig saws you want a branded tool that's mid range. So, don't buy B&Q own brand or as you Americans have, Home Depot.

Step 9: Have Spares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is quite possibly nothing more annoying in making than when it's a late evening, the hardware store is already closed, and your only jigsaw blade snaps. The answer to this problem is simple; have spares!! You'll be grateful!

Step 10: Measure Carefully!!!

You get the picture, measure carefully!!! It'll save you a tone of time!

Another good thing to know is the difference between high tolerance and low tolerance! Get it right!!!

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    3 Discussions

    Ash J
    Ash J

    5 years ago

    this is a great instructable